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Failing at GTD: Competing Beliefs

beliefs, thoughts, gtdProductivity tools

Between meetings, putting out fires, managing staff and working in high-pressure environments, leaders/managers have precious little time to function in the proactive strategic level of business.

To combat the time crunch, many leaders/managers use productivity tools such as Getting Things Done (GTD) to free up their schedules and increase productivity. For many of us these systems work and are fantastic methodologies to give us back precious time.

Some however, will implement the methodology only to see it fail and eventually abandoned for the next tool. Why is that?

Competing Beliefs

At the root we have underlying habits, thoughts and beliefs that compete with each other. In essence, we sabotage ourselves because other habits and beliefs are serving us in a different way, hindering us from what we are trying to change.

Let’s say that implementing GTD will get you organized, proficient and free up time to focus on larger objectives. You go for it and start going through your files, creating ticklers and email folders. You use it for 30 days, about the time it takes to create a new habit, and are still rocking. But for some reason, slowly it becomes less important to get all of your emails out of your inbox and file away future items. You start telling yourself you don’t have the time to deal with this new system.

What happened?

Perhaps there was another belief/thought that was serving you, competing with GTD. You might think that you have to say “yes” to whatever is put on your plate or you have to double-check everyone’s work before sending it out to production. What if you have a belief that if you don’t do the above, you will not be thought of as being a “team player”?

This belief/thought is just as legitimate, but due to the outcomes it produces you start dropping GTD. The competing belief in being a “team player” sabotages your goal of creating more time.

Something to Consider

Before you go through the process of implementing the next productivity tool, or re-implementing an existing tool, consider the following to increase your chances of sustainable success.

  • Ask yourself if you believe this system is going to work for you? Be honest with yourself here.

  • Think about what problems you are trying to solve with this tool and what may get in the way of it succeeding.

  • Take what may get in the way (your blocks) and ask yourself the “5 whys” to help lead you down to the root cause or competing belief.

  • From here you can start to see your beliefs objectively and how they help or hinder you.

Before implementing a new tool use the above to help understand what may get in your way. By having a better understanding of your competing beliefs and their outcomes, you will be armed with valuable information that can ensure greater success.

 
Derek Lauber, ACC
www.lightboxleadership.comi
mage courtesy: Bare Dreamer

 

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